By the time Ryan took the stage for last night’s “Cold Roses Incorporated,” everyone in the room had been through some drama. Ryan had just finished performing a set uptown at the Arthur Lee Benefit that Scott attended, while the rest of us had our own little ordeal. We started with a half-hour delay on the 12:30 am doors, resulting in a block-long line in the pouring rain. Which was awesome. After we were let in, we were made to wait in Bowery’s basement bar for another half hour, nestled together thisclose, so that my neighbor’s wetness had become mine. So very squishy.
When Ryan hit the stage it was probably somewhere around 1:45 am, but the room was frighteningly alive. Adams excites the kids. That’s just how it is. Last time I saw him he played like four notes as Jesse Malin’s encore guest, and the room was momentarily electrified. He’s got the “thing.” A couple of girls traced invisible hearts around his head all night. Turns out he’s dreamy.
The set was blazing, with some Rock N Roll thrown in to the expected dose of Demolition, Hearbreaker, and Cold Roses. Highlights included the Dead worship of “Magnolia Mountain” and “Cold Roses,” with Catherine Popper’s inner Lesh arpeggiating around the Cardinals’ mixolydian moments. But nothing really tops Ryan’s blearing harmonica and wistful voice on “Come Pick Me Up.” It’s tunes like that make him the 43rd best living songwriter, after all. Eat your heart out Jim Derogatis.
(The Batman tee is Ryan’s way of telling us he won’t be seeing former flame Parker Posey in Superman Returns next week.)
“Love Is Hell”
“This Is It”
“Please Do Not Let Me Go”
“Note To Self: Don’t Die”
“Wish You Were Here”
“Hard Way To Fall”
“Let It Ride”
“To Be Young”
“Call Me On Your Way Back Home”
“Come Pick Me Up”
UPDATE: Thanks astute readers: “Shakedown On 9th Street” indeed belongs somewhere in that setlist.